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What is “baby-bottle” tooth decay?

baby bottle decay tooth
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What is “baby-bottle” tooth decay?

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“Baby-bottle” tooth decay (now called “early childhood caries”), is related to several factors, such as sugar (carbohydrates), frequency of sugar exposure, and bacteria. Children who go to bed with a bottle of milk, formula or juice are more likely to get tooth decay because the teeth are constantly in contact with sugar. For the same reason, children who are breastfed “on-demand” are at a higher risk of developing decay. Frequent snacking during the day also increases the risk of decay.

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Babies who go to bed with a bottle of milk, formula or juice are more likely to get tooth decay. Because the sugar in formula, milk or juice stays in contact with the teeth for a long time during the night, the teeth can decay quickly.

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Baby bottle tooth decay or nursing bottle caries occurs when a baby is allowed to fed throughout the night from a bottle, sippy cup or breast. The upper front teeth are usually the only teeth affected. The lower teeth are usually spared because of protection from the tongue. This type of decay process can be prevented by placing only water in the bottle/sippy cup or cleaning the mouth after breast feeding.

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One serious form of tooth decay among young children is early childhood decay, also known as baby bottle tooth decay. This is caused by frequent and long exposure of an infant’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar, such as milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice and other sweetened drinks. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting them to bed with a bottle. Learn proper techniques for brushing and flossing and schedule your child’s first dental visit by age 1.

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Decay in infants and children is called baby bottle tooth decay. It can destroy the teeth and most often occurs in the upper front teeth. But other teeth may also be affected.

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